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Jones reinstated on Bexley Council
Bexley council voted on March 10 to reinstate Robyn Jones to the council seat she vacated Feb. 24.
The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) denied Jones access to her retirement funds until she resigned from public service.
Once her retirement was approved, OPERS allowed Jones to pursue reinstatement.
Council voted 5-1 to appoint Jones to reclaim her seat.
Council president Matt Lampke cast the dissenting vote.
Lampke said he understood that some public servants find it necessary to "double-dip" by collecting retirement and a paycheck. Lampke said council should have accepted applications and conducted interviews to fill the open seat.
Council member Jeff McClelland said, "We don't want to put people through an interview process when the best person to fill the position is the person who left the position."
Council member Mark Masser agreed.
"Robyn had a hard decision and she did the right thing," he said. "The residents voted for her. There are only eight months left in her term. Anyone can voice their disagreement at the ballot box."
Jones said she appreciates the support and will resume chairing the finance committee.
Dog ordinance remains
In other business, the council will not change the law that limits the number of dogs per residence to three.
Karl and Jan Hinch asked the council to allow exceptions.
"We proposed a permit or license plan for families with more than three dogs. The proposed plan would allow for review of the specifics of each request instead of the 'one-size-fits-all' ordinance currently in place," Karl wrote in a letter to the Eastside Messenger.
Bexley recently forced the family to relinquish two of five dogs, which the Hinches had rescued from "terrible conditions," Jan said.
The Hinches argued that a town in Kansas issued permits and Bexley could follow that town's example.
The council responded that if the Hinches could find towns closer in proximity and size to Bexley then the city might consider their proposal.
On March 10, Council member Jed Morison said that while the Hinches are still welcome to re-address council, the city will not change the law.
"Based on the input I have received, some are sympathetic to the (Hinches), but to be frank, there are a whole lot not sympathetic," Morison said.
"The law is on the books, they broke the law, now they say, 'let's change the law,''' council member Rick Weber said. 'I would never vote to change the law unless there is a better reason than what these people came up with."
Pool opens water to outside families
Members of the Bexley pool may now invite one non-resident family to purchase a pool pass for the season.
The non-resident prices will be 15 percent higher than resident fees, interim parks director Mike Price said.
"It will generate additional revenue and we have had requests from residents who wanted to have family and close friends (join them at the pool)," Price said.
At press time, no non-resident passes had been sold, but the parks board was considering a limit to the number of non-resident passes available.
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